A combination of reasonable temps, sunny days, and the lack of snow allowed more bouldering over Thanksgiving break than I've ever been able to get. On Thursday, I spent the afternoon on rappel, brushing sandstone boulders near our project. And on Friday, we went to climb them.
Our traverse project was good, but we didn't have any good warmups nearby. At my age, if I warm up, and then pack up my things, and then hike for ten minutes, and then take out my things, and then get my shoes back on, on a cold day, it's like I never warmed up all. I was excited to find a well featured overhanging wall just uphill from our project. The two lines I brushed aren't just warm ups, they are proud warm ups. The top outs turned out to be more committing than I expected. Both lines are about V2, and the top outs are the cruxes.
The first line I named "Oh Sugar."
On Saturday, I made a long drive to get a tour of Neverland from Davin and Bryan. Scott and Ken drove up from Colorado to see the area too, and it was nice to see them again.
A Place of Legend and Mode of Passion it was finally time to check them out for real. They lived up to my high expectations.
This patina covered warm up was really nice. In my experience, the windiest spots often have the best patina.
I don't think this classic has a name yet.
Scott climbing the patina.
The hike back to the car was crazy. It felt like my pad, was almost lifting me off the ground as we hiked against the wind. I crawled under a low barbed wire fence rather than risk stepping over it. Davin said that we'd be able to get out of the wind at Fingerpaint Cave, and we did. Finally we were able to hear each other, catch up a bit, and climb some more good problems like "Triangle Man" and the end of "Fingerpaint." I didn't take any photos, but you can check out the other blogs I mentioned for much more extensive posts from Neverland.
On Sunday, we went climbing again. It was one of those special days when you think it will be too cold to climb, but you end up having perfect conditions instead. While we warmed up on the "Oh Sugar" wall, Roo found a carcass to tear into. And then the sun came out of the clouds.
Psyched after sending our project, we still had a freshly brushed line to try. Features lead up the tall overhanging face, but the top out looked like it might be really difficult, so we decided to set up a toprope. Features up top are such soft stone, I anchored with a long piece of webbing around a large aspen rather than trust gear under fragile plates. My excitement turned to disappointment pretty quickly. A perfect side pull flew off when I liebacked on it. Then another perfect hold broke higher up. The limestone like features are so sharp they puncture finger tips, and then even on top rope I couldn't figure out a way to top it out. It might go for someone, but I don't predict that it will ever be a classic.
I'm still glad to have it though. We had a great long weekend of bouldering, with an entire canyon to ourselves.